Tonight, I sat on this rock, inches from the sea, at sunset. As the sun set it seemd to pull the last of blue sky and sea birds with it. A storm was coming in across the ocean. The entire sky lit up with lightning, the occaisional thunder boomed. I could taste the salt in my hair as the wind whipped it all around me. The waves crashed, the air was so warm; perfect and calming. All I could think, all I could feel, was: This is a metaphor for my entire life.
I sat cross legged with a straight spine. At first I thought I wouldnt be able to concentrate, then I laughed at my self a bit, thinking of my earlier struggles/successes with over coming distraction; though this distraction was obviously different. I held each of my crystals in each of my palms. The wind was so strong I felt like it was going to carry my crystals right out of my hands. I cupped my palms a bit and even though it still felt like it, I knew they were safe. The crystals felt like they were breathing in my palms, with the way the wind teased at them. I closed my eyes and briefly thought about some of my chakras. Finding it hard to concentrate and only wanting to stare at the sea, I took some deep breaths and exhaled with a vibrant hum at different pitches, until I found one that sparked the buzz of my third eye. I told myself for today’s meditation, I was going to be listening, not projecting. I imagined the lotus flower above my head showering its petals on me, no interference from the wind, because in my mind these petals rain in the gravitational pull from my own aura, my own energy. Ever so slowly, I felt my left hand starting to get very hot, almost a burn-like sensation, right where the stone lay in my palm. It was a weird sensation, like I knew my palm was not actually hot to the touch. I paid extra attention to how I did not feel the same sensation coming from my right hand, with the other stone.
I opened my eyes and stared in a long daze at the clouds out in front of me, trying for the open-source meditation. I see the waves, lightning, birds, everything in my perepheral vision, and slowly the waves just below my vision start to dance a mild yellow color. I am enjoying the ebb and flow of this meditation on the sea when suddenly a question pops into my head: Do you trust yourself? I cant answer right away and instantly I know that I do not. My stomach ceases slightly, my heart starts beating fast and I realize my breath has gotten irregular, so I correct it with the deep breathing once again. I tell myself, while still staring out the clouds, “It’s okay if you don’t trust yourself completely right now, but it is time to start trusting yourself.” I am scanning my mind for what this means exactly. “Are you ready to start trusting yourself? Because now is the time…” and as the words fade in my mind, I just have this feeling that I know it is time to dig in, to learn something more about me, to start trusting myself since apparently I do not. I trust so many things about myself and feel like I know me pretty well, but at the same time I am one to make split second decisions, that have a track record for being life changing, and have always been a pretty strong believer that we can always surprise ourselves and therefore may not truly ever know ourselves - we are capable of anything… Its interesting to me the way this thought just popped into my mind. Its even more intriguing the way I responded to it in meditation and how I now still ponder it afterward. I feel like I know its a life lesson and something that I will most likely not just all of a sudden find an answer to, but its on my mind and I think it will be for awhile.
When I finished meditating I realized the woman who had walked to the beach with me was waiting on some far off rocks. Before I started meditating, she told me to take my time and there was no rush, she was going to walk on the beach anyway. I put my crystals in my pocket, got my back pack, and started walking towards her. I stopped for a moment and stared at some pelicans in the sky (I think they are so majestic). I thanked the earth quickly and quietly for the energy and thoughts, then the universe for the same.
The walk back to our place, Agave Azul, was no more than 10 minutes, but oddly enough BOTH my palms felt that burning warm sensation the entire way. As predicted, they were not phyisically hot to the touch, but something about the energy from them was real and for sure happening…I can actually, very bizarrely, almost feel the sensation coming back as I describe right now. Ah, I feel like my spiritual posts are getting more and more “out there”, but I have stopped caring what someone else reading this might think. I came into this practice as a skeptic, taking it completely for my own well being and on my own terms, not following any specific ritual or lead that I originally saw, and its working out for me!
I hope you too, are doing what makes you feel good in life, no questions asked, no cares about what any one else might think or say. If you can hold confidence and pride in all that you do, then you will be a confident and prideful person. People and the universe are sure to look at you in a different light, and you might be surprised to find what comes your way. In the same respects, I hope that you take time to get to know yourself, in body and spirit, mentally and physically, whatever you consider those things to be. I truly believe it is important for your over all well being.
So, this photo is a picture of the bedroom I will be in for the next month!!!
About a month ago, before coming down to Mexico, I was looking on Workaway.info (a site I am subscribed to) for places to stay for room and board in exchange for working and helping out around the hosts’ home/farm/commune, what have you. My friend Alyssa had mentioned Agave Azul, a workaway compound located about 5 blocks from her house. When I checked their workaway profile (again, this was a month ago) they said they were booked out through September and did not need any more guests or help.
Alyssa knows the two ladies who helped get this place started, so we thought, since I’m in town, lets just pop by there, introduce myself, let them know I am in town eager to help out/work, and if/when they have something available to please let me know.
We arrive and are wamrly greeted by Annette (pronounced Annetta), who asks if we have time to sit and visit, so we do. Upon entry, the place is ever more spectacular than the photos give it credit for. It comes up casually in conversation the initial reason why we popped in and Annette is thrilled to inform us she just posted a last-minute need help ad on her workaway site. She continues to explain the compound is pretty vacant right now, will be for the next month or so, and there is a lot of work to be done - remodeling, renovating, painting, and daily house chores. She gives me a small interview, then a tour, and we agree for me to move in Sunday (arrangements changed and I got to move in tonight - Saturday!) with an OK to stay through the end of September. We can discuss more time, if needed, when that rolls around.
I explained to her about Patches coming as soon as he can and that my boyfriend plans to towards the end of September. Of course, she seems very open to the idea, but will have to take each person on a case by case basis.
Tonight upon arrival I immediately unpacked my backpack and moved into my room. It feels so good to get out of that pack for the first time in two months, let alone have a double bed and my own full bathroom! I hung my clothes in the closet, set my toiletries up in the bath, laid my book on the night stand, all the goods. Then I took a fantastic night swim in the pool and got to know the second woman who helped start up Agave Azul, her name is Ula (Annette and Ula are both German, but speak great english, and get by with their spanish). We talked nutrition and she filled me in on where to get all the right kinds of foods in the area, and we swam around under the stars, in the middle of the compound, as quiet lightning flickered in the sky and birds bustled about from one stoop to another window sill and back.
Here is the link to the workaway site, if you care to see what they offer, but also look at some pictures!
If you are taking a look at the main photo, the room I am staying in is above the pink door on the lower floor and just to the left. So yes, I have a fantastic view of the pool the moment I step out of my door.
I am hiking/adventuring with Alyssa tomorrow, will gather some groceries as well. I start working on Monday and I cannot WAIT to start giving back in some way. These past two months vacationing have been great, but I really need to start doing more with my down time (and if you happened to be wondering, I HAVE been working out). The creative projects that are lying around this place will be a perfect add-on to my agenda, I just know it!!!
The biggest downfall of Mexico so far is definitely the mosquitos. Today I counted 27 bug bites just on my lower left leg, that is not including my foot - and Im sure I missed a few. I suppose I am thankful that they are taking to my lower legs so the rest of my body has a break, and Alyssa says, first of all my legs are still mostly skin than bites so thats a plus and secondly the misquitos will get tired of me before I know it….I hope that is real soon.
I am sure practically living in a tree hasn’t necessarily helped. Alyssas apartment and the area where the family who owns the restaurant lives (where Ive been sleeping) are all surrounded by a giant rubber tree. It is pretty cool, actually, aside of the bugs.
I have seen a couple iguanas, some giant cock roaches, and scary looking spiders. To my content, I find I am not a skittish of creepy crawly things as I thought I would be…but I havent seen a tarantula yet. I am really truly loving the outdoor living style around here. The bathroom of the place where I slept was not only out doors, but had a giant palm tree growing up through the middle of it! Life is different from the US in all the ways I would want it to be - having to think of yourself and the way you live in more practical senses. No toilet paper in the bowl, messes up the septic systems. Getting essentials from the grocery store will require a trip to the next town over (if not two or three). Everything is packed with sugar, so unless thats your niche, you’re pretty much faced with water to drink. You can buy some delicious juices and water them down yourself, and they have a delcious beverage at a store called agua fresca (literal translation: fresh water). Even thought it has sugar added, these are natural fruits put into ice water to make a freaking delicious and refreshing drink. I like to get naranje y pina (orange and pineapple) or limon y chia (lemon and chia seed), which is not at all like lemonade.
I am slowly starting to get by with my spanish, but I am for sure working on it on my own every day and try to dedicate one hour at night on top of it to the Duolingo app (if you havent heard of it look it up!). I am still intimidated to talk to locals much, but today especially I had some really great, friendly interactions, and people are pretty understanding. Many also speak english, if not just a little, but I would rather have to speak spanish than try to speak in english.
Pictured right: Alyssas pup, Bella
My second evening in town, Friday (yesterday), I wandered the three or so blocks down to the beach. Alyssa had informed me of the epic sunsets, but this was not like anything I could have even imagined.
I made my way to the beach and sat on the sand. Taking in the ocean around me and slowly realizing there is tons of life alive in the sand. Crabs, hermit crabs, etc. All just walking around, coming out of their tiny holess, once you sit back to notice them and let them get comfortable. At first there was a tiny sliver of rainbow in the distance, but as the sun set this rainbow grew deeper, darker and more prominent. A rain storm was moving in from my left and to the right the sky was beautiful and open to the setting sun. Soon the entire sky filled with an awesome pink color that reflected in the water perfectly and the arc of the rainbow took up the entire sky! I literally laughed as I looked around and said aloud, “Am I seriously here by myself right now?!” Just after the sun set it started to rain and along with it came the smell of warm summer rain. An absolutely breath taking scene, my discription, by no means does it justice.
Alyssa lives above a restaurant and the family who owns it is out of town for the summer holiday, so her other friend is watching over the family’s living quarters while they are away. Because of this, I was able to sleep in the children’s room. The palm window palm trees is the view I woke up to from the top bunk of the bed I slept in and the cat is named Henry and lives there as well. He is the cutest, most friendliest little gato there ever was.
Arrival into Mexico has been spledid! Pictured here, I have a photo of the outdoor kitchen at my friend Alyssa’s house with a ladder leading up to a hammoc/loft/patio. The greenery photo is a view from the hammock up that ladder. The deliciousp late of food was my first meal in, cooked by Alyssas boyfriend. His specialty, chicken enchiladas.
Views from my Mat 8.15.14
Today is my first full day in Mexico and I started the day off right with the routine I have gotten into. Taking time to stretch and meditate first thing after waking in the a.m.
This morning I am honored to be able to climb upon a loft built into a rubber tree to enjoy this routine of mine. I carried up my camera, two crystals that I have been meditating with, a water bottle, and my yoga mat. I layed out the mat and started with slow moving stretches to wake up my spine and ease the stiffness from a good night’s sleep out of my muscles. Right before the start of meditating a couple large trucks drove by and a construction crew started jack-hammering right across the street. Instead of feeling frustrated, I embraced this hardly without a second thought, and took it as an opportunity to work on controlling my concentration - something I have been trying to work on recently.
When it came time to meditate I pulled out my crystals to lay them on my mat in front of me. To my pleasant surprise, I could feel my third eye chakra start buzzing immediately. Of course, this brought a huge smile to my face. I sat cross legged with my palms up, back straight, and started with some breath work to get the energy flowing, as well as allow my body to adjust to the deep breathing movements. Today I started on my root chakra and worked my way up to my crown, opening each one up. Taking the time to feel each chakra, imagine it’s color, and think about how I will honor its meaning and how it helps me in my every day life. At the throat chakra I always take in a deep breath and exhale with a vibration type hum that echoes through my throat, then I speak aloud that I will be speak honesty and truth, with gentleness and kindness, for all living things.
Once I reach my crown chakra, I imagine a lotus flower in full bloom, deep purple today, shedding its flowers all around me as I meditate, giving me its eternal, beautiful energy. The raining petals do not hurt the flower, as the flower itself is eternal and when I am done meditating I envision all the flowers floating back up to be a part of the flower again. Today, after I opened all my chakras, I decided to ask the universe to help aid in the arrival of my love. I ensured it that it is not about deservance, and not because I need it, nor simply that I want it, but because we both love and embrace our lives separately - where we are at right now; we feel incredibly happy just to get to see each other, but we feel our happiest and at our strongest when we get to be in the other’s arms. Then I envisioned Tyler sitting across my yoga mat from me, meditating himself, head slightly bowed. Our fingers linked together and I focused the energy from my crown chakra into his, and slowly worked my way down, connecting our third eye and heart chakras as well. What a beautiful connection I truly believe we have.
After this I worked my way through and closed all my chakras and the moment I was finished meditating that construction crew shut off their jack-hammer. I had almost completely forgot about it, except the air was broke with some nice silence. Not a coincidence at all, I told myself. I truly feel like something always happens when I am finished meditating. I am sure it is because at the end of a meditation session my senses are much more alert, so I notice more, but today I felt like I accomplished something with my concentration, which is something in the past I have greatly struggled with. I bet even two weeks ago, I would have felt frustrated and opted for meditating at the ocean later. Another thing I would like to note is that the color of everything today, when I opened my eyes, was much more vibrant. I stood up, touched the tree to thank the earth for helping me generate such wonderful energy this morning, asking it to allow me to give it back to the universe now as I carry on with my day and acknowledge that I too, one day, will give myself to the universe, to the moon, the sun, the stars. Then I worked on my tree pose, standing within this rubber tree, and my balance was great and I felt so grounded. So far everything about today is making me smile and I am confident it will last me through the sun being in the sky.
Now I am going to enjoy my “Seven Flowers” tea and see what else this day has to offer. Another post soon, to describe my surroundings better. This place is so beautiful, but I had to express my gratitude for this mornings Mat session first. Namaste.
My last day in L.A. was spent tying up loose ends and running errands. I am happy to say that I cut many things out of my pack and it feels good to be traveleing ligther. Originally, I cut things because I was desperately trying to make my bag passable to not be checked at the airport - I am insanely paranoid about losing my items - but alas, I had to check it. I packed my necessities into a carry-on bag that would work, in prep if my luggage did happen to get misplaced and I feel very comfortable about it all. I am sure it will be fine, and if not, well I’lll take that as it comes.
My time in L.A. was very magical, I could not have asked for better people to hang out with and show me around. Between my cousin, her boyfriend, and my two beautiful love bird friends, Kyla and Michael I could not have asked for more of my time spent in L.A.
My cousins studio is a rad loft where I dreamt of what kind of exercise things I could run in there if I owned the space, or how I would rearrange it if I lived there. It was a great place to relax and have some privacy to myself. Plenty of room for working out too. The neighborhood was very friendly and bustling with lots of amenities nearby. I took to a coffee shop a few blocks down the street, called Chango. They served extremely tasy omlettes and chocolate almond chai teas, with cute baristas to boot! Further down the road there was an organic vegan bistro called Sage. They made their own ice cream and sweet potato pancakes - very delicious! But my favorite was a tahini dressed kale salad. A couple doors down from Sage, I stumbled upon a bookstore cafe called Stories. It is a tiny little bookstore with a cafe in the back and also a patio in the very back where you can relax, read, play chess, etc. I bought a book, recommended to me by the love of my life, Tyler, called Kafka on the Shore. I spent most of my time reading this while I was in L.A. and to my surprise even finished it! I have not been much of a reader in the past; hard to find things that sparked my interest and I always get very sleepy. Well, I really enjoyed this book for what it is, but I also enjoyed the down time of just reading a book. I definitely plan on reading more in the remainder of my trip. In fact I stumbled upon a book store today with the owners going into retiremnt and picked up a book about the spirutually medicinal root called Kava! Very excited to read that!
The second space I was pleased to be welcomed to stay at was Kyla and Michael’s gorgeous, quaint apartment. It sports hard wood floors, a heated swimming pool, candles, spiritual altars, and maybe the lovliest of all, a chirping cat named Zoe. Kyla taught me how to make jewlery and I put together my very first set of barefoot sandals (pictures soon). I have no experience crafting my own jewlery, so this was a lot of fun and pretty eye opening. I have much more respect for all those folks with Etsy shops out there dwindling away with their plyers, sewing machines, and what have you.
In the last few days Kyla and Michael also took me to an extremely life changing place called the self realization fellowship. Most cities have at least one, if not more. I recommend looking into one near you. I know Seattle has one! In a very simple, short explanation: The L.A. headquarters for this place is a grounds that is kept to pristine condiion, with a court yard and magnificent gardens you can walk through and meditate. Plentiful of waterfalls, butterflies, quietness, and relaxation. Let alone any other person you come across just simply nods and smiles at you. No judgement passed, just pure happiness and understanding of gratefulness for our lives and the better good of the planet. I layed under some tress, in some plush grass, taking in all my senses around me and thinking that I could possibly never return to city life and be forever happy. There is a deep part of my soul that craves a beautiful little community with the energy and understanding of peace and being that I felt at this place. We were there for three hours. I wondered around sitting in different areas, enjoying the different views, sounds, standing on rocks and practicing my tree pose. On two separate occaisions in those three hours I was literally moved to tears. Both because I am saddened that our society lacks this type of appreciation for the natural beauty our earth has to offer us, but moreso because such beauty exists in the world and it truly exilerates, charges up, the core of my being. That is the feeling I am chasing on this adventure of mine and I have no idea where it will lead me.
I write to you on the airplane, heading to Mexico City where my flight will connect and take me to my final destination of Puerto Vallarta, so when I get to post this, I will most likely be settled a bit in PVR already, or maybe I’ll have caught some wifi at the Mexico City airport. My travel buddy, Patches, has encountered a few set backs regarding obtaining his passport and is hoping to join me within the next week or two. I have flown alone before, but never to a foreign country where I dont speak the language. I love throwing myself into situations where I must face my fears and take things as they come. I have truly come to automatically feel excited for these things, rather than getting butterflies and fretting, while simultaneously convincing myself this is going to be a great time. Of course there are still a few butterflies, but mostly only excitement.
My friend who lives in Puerto Vallarta will be meeting me with her boyfriend and maybe other friends at International Arrivals at the Puerto Vallarta airport. We will be taking the local bus back to her place. I hear Puerto Vallarta is a cute little beach town. My friend tells me the weather is hot and getting rainy and rainier this time of year. I looked up the forecast and it is supposed to be high 80s, low 90s all week with rain! My Seattle heart sings, this is the weather I absolutely love. Oh! And 89% humidity. My heart feels warm as I dive a little deeper into paradise.
Well, I finally mustered up the nerves to watch the documentary Blackfish, availalbe on Netflix. It was pretty intense and heart wrenching to watch, as expected, but I guess I’ve educated myself enough on animal captivity that I went into it with a realistic point of view and was less emotional than I thought I would be. I do have a couple comments about it I would like to share though.
First off, I find it quite incredible that Orca whales’ brain functions far expands that of any other mammal on the planet, including human beings, particularly in their emotional/social behaviors. Not only has this factually been proven via the study of their brains, but you can plainly see it by studying their natural bevhaiors in the wild. I have read articles that the same is true for dolphins. This blows my mind!!
Secondly, in a quick note for those who have seen the movie, I want to address the screaming and severe grieving of the mother whale (in captivity) when her calf was taken from her and moved to another facility. As stated at the end of the movie, this is not just Ocra whales, this is not just sea animals in captivity, it is all animals. I have read articles that cows act much the same way when their babies are taken from them. Im sure many other animals have the same reactions, naturally, wouldn’lt you? Though the average person hardly stops to address these things, think about them, do anything. You feel helpless, powerless and awful, then you move on with your life thinking, “what a sad world we live in, but I cant do anything.”
Above and beyond all these interesting and gruesome facts about animals, I want you to reaalize that every one of your dollars counts. Every single dollar you spend is a vote for what you want in this world and I think that, in some sense, speaks greater even than our voices, because the sad but earth shattering truth is, money drives this world. So be concious of where you put your dollars, try buying local when you can, and try some DIY projects!
Getting a hot cereal fix like never before! Thanks so much to @michaelmalotav for making this for me. I have only eaten (the real) oatmeal once in the last year since I basically stopped consuming grains and I haven’t had regular cereal in YEARS. This dish is like two in one!
Quinoa (pre cooked), reheated stove top with hot water to make soupy, pour into bowl & add toppings of choice. Mine included: banana, flax seeds, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a dash of coconut milk. SO DELICIOUS!